Let’s dive right in.
Picking right up where last issue left off, Helena and Karen are sifting through the wreckage of Ken’s portal to Earth 2, and tensions are kind of high. Karen is certain that that was their home, and that Clark either needed her help or was faking being evil also because he needed her help. Helena insists that there’s a very good chance that it was just yet another copy of home, but Karen accuses her of not having the ability to admit when she’s wrong.
Agents of A.R.G.U.S. show up to confiscate the remains of the device, and the girls aren’t super keen on just given up a possible ride home. Told to put their weapons on the floor, Karen rips the concrete out from under them before Helena can even get all the way through her utility belt.
The girls take out the men pretty effectively, but they’ve got back-up. A tank is sent in and surely that will prove more of a match for– .
Now it gets a little bit weird, though.
Here begins a flashback sequel, with no preamble, but which spans several pages.
This vaguely Bat-family-ish girl is obviously attempting to untie herself, having been caught while on her idea of a miniature vacation, freeing a bunch of immigrants who have found themselves forced into sexual slavery and in the hands of a bunch of drunken hunters who look awfully well put together for hill folk.
But then she says something in her inner monologue about her dad spinning in his grave, plus it sounds like her mom is still alive and kicking, so maybe not.
Either way, she manages to make her way back into the cabin where the girls are being kept and attempts to fight off the men… While still bound at the ankles and with her arms behind her back. Needless to say, it doesn’t really go particularly well for her. One of the men knocks her out.
So, dude mentions wanting to lot leave traceable anything in autopsy, yes? So they are definitely going to kill this girl. Because, if nothing else, it would be terrible easy to do so now and to dave yourselves a whole lot of trouble later on, right? Right.
Except for not.
They leave her alive, and less restrained than before, with only one arm tied to a tree. Supposedly wolves will get her, but I can’t help but wonder why they wouldn’t either kill her or just add her to their selection of women to abuse..?
I guess I’m underestimating the chivalry of the average redneck mass rapist.
The wolves don’t get her, by the way.
She makes it back to the cabin and torches the place, watching from outside as everyone makes it outside, miraculously.
She catches the men off-guard and, this time without all of the pesky rope keeping her limbs tucked to her sides and useless, is able to defeat them.
Back in the present day, and still with no explanation of what the heck that was all about, Helena is dropped of at one of her safe-houses in Chicago while Karen heads off to New York.
Actually, in addition to eating all of the amazing regional food, Helena has swiped some kind of records from Ken’s base in Gamorra, and she’s intent on proving that she was right, that that was not their Kal and so not their Earth.
She seems to get her smoking gun, too, noticing something off in the background of a surveillance tape with a significantly less Darkseid-y-influenced-looking Clark than the one that they were just exposed to. Something in the background catches her eye.
Meanwhile, in New York City, Karen has just completed the process of getting StarrWare back under her control and in her ownership.
Her legal team has made a killing and her assets are impressive still, but she gives them a surprise order, apparently giving absolutely zero fucks anymore.
Karen flies back to Chicago to meet up with Helena again, and the Huntress bluntly admits being wrong to her friend. There is no embarrassment or blame taken or thrown around, just acceptance and moving on to the planning stage.
So, since that was their Kal, though, and Karen was right, and now they’re going to have a bajillion dollars to finance their efforts?
So, I’ll admit, that wasn’t where I had initially thought that this series was going to go. I figured it was going to be about two people struggling to find their place in a world so similar to the one that they painfully lost, all while dealing with doppelgangers of their loved ones and even of their selves, and that would pretty much be it. Now, I do still think that that’s the overall direction of the series. I think that their efforts to get back to Earth 2 will fail… After a point.
I think that they will make it back home. Briefly, but I think that they will. And then some shit will happen that results in them having to be expelled from Earth 2 or just having to come back to Earth Prime.
Or maybe they’ll end up doing a kind of a Sliders thing, and the Multi-Verse could open back up because of all of their efforts.
Ooh… That would actually be really awesome.
Either way, I do want them to get back home, at least for a bit, and if for no other reason than the fact that it’d be interesting to see how Karen deals with an evil Kal and a dead Lois reconstituted in the body of a fembot Red Tornado.
Of course, Helena kind of gets shafted in this deal…
But it should be an interesting read if I’m right.
And then there’s that whole flashback sequence there and its subject. Perhaps that’s a Huntress from a different world? A Bizzaro Helena?
Either way, we’ll be checking back in with the World’s Finest.
What are your thoughts on the direction of the series? Where will the girls’ efforts finally take them? Be sure to leave your ideas in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!
Picking up where last issue left off, this Earth’s evil Ken has opened a portal which supposedly leads to Earth 2, home for Karen and Helena.
Karen is none too pleased with the idea that this Ken is kind of a douchebag, and physically attacks him while sprouting… I wanna say bad poetry, maybe?
Welcome to the second chapter of the Batman/Superman and World’s Finest crossover.
After a very strong first chapter in Batman/Superman #8, let’s check in on how the characters and the story are progressing in the girls’ own book.
Picking up from right where the previous chapter left off, Karen wakes up mid-plummet, but feeling a hell of a lot better than Superman does, apparently.
Not willing to take the chance that their invulnerability has been compromised by the hit and Power Girl’s recent power fluctuations, Batman and Huntress move to intercept them in the jet.
As Karen is struggling to right herself, she and Clark are caught in a net and lowered safely to the ground by the Bat Jet, while Huntress once again marvels at the similarities between this Batman and her father.
While Karen has been really adamant this entire run about not ever meeting Superman and keeping interactions with Supergirl to an absolute minimum (although, I really think that, if anyone were a good idea to try and talk Kara down a la the Red Daughter arc going on right now, it’d be Karen motherfucking Starr), Helena looks to be conversely kind of latching onto Batman, earnestly looking for a reason to build an attachment with this Batman. Maybe with this Earth.
Upon landing, Batman and Huntress rush to Power Girl and Superman to look them over.
Power Girl recognizes the glowy business as a bad sign and tells them to back away.
Karen is about to call him out on his douchebaggery, and the display snaps Helena out of her attempted hero worship/daddy issues. His Bat Manners are severely lacking. But he does have a plan, having brought the Kryptonite ring. He hooks it around Clark’s neck, hoping that the ring will counteract the power overload and just render him, basically, a normal human.
When asked about whether he’s concerned about the fact that the ring could kill him, Batman shrugs the girls off and tells Power Girl that she’s been promoted to Kryptonian PowerHouse/pack mule, and that Huntress should stow Superman in the jet for now.Still irritated with his antics, Power Girl asks him whether he trusts her or if he’s taking her because he does happen to have another Kryptonite ring on himself as insurance.
Is he smirking because he has another ring? Because he’s fucking with her? Or is he just happy to be by her titties?
Huntress can’t believe how her not-dad treats her not-Godfather here. Shortly after they leave, Clark begins to come to and, apparently, being a normal human being is the WORST.
An unknown metahuman appears in the sky nearby and Huntress tells Clark to take cover. He asks if she’s kidding.
This dude with a target on his head and over his solar plexus appears and pretty much tells them all what they did and how to cause Power Girl’s powers to go all wonky.
Dude is tough, still stronger than normal even after Helena hits him with an exploding crossbow bolt. The fact surprises Helena for some reason, in this world where every fifth person is a super villain and this particular dude flew to you to start wailing on y’all.
Luckily, she’s able to use his awkward combination of super strength and poor combat skills and bad balance to her advantage, and is able to knock his bitch ass out with a kick to the face.
Over with Batman and Power Girl in the villain’s country of New Gamorra, because biblical references to town destroyed for their wickedness aren’t a red flag AT ALL, Batman tries to tell PG how she’s gonna roll in there as Karen Starr, since they know her secret ID anyways and that somehow won’t be a giveaway. She, however, is still not having it or his attitude in general.
Batman just let’s her go like a dude who knows EXACTLY how his pals are going to act after their fifth Jaeger Bomb and has no control over the night or their ensuing mug shots and criminal records. Instead, he heads for the sewers, to tap directly into their systems via pipes and wires and shit, since PG will act as a distraction no matter what she does topside.
Topside, Karen is still pissed.
But, as she approaches the boss-man, she’s shocked to find out his identity. The man behind this whole scheme is the Earth Prime of her briefly-boyfriend from Earth 2, Ken Somethingeoranother, son of a diplomat and young would-be hero who done got blowed up on Earth 2, as seen in the World’s Finest Annual #01.
He tells her that he’s really sorry about the whole mess of her powers, that her haywire abilities were the unfortunate side effect of a series of experiments being performed by the people of New Gamorra which, once again, doesn’t ring any bells or set off any alarms.
Meanwhile, unwilling to stay on the sidelines, Clark and Helena are using terrible pseudonyms and costumes which they apparently had already had stowed in the Bat Jet, plus to advantage of being WHITE in an Asian country and so totally sticking right the fuck out (but then, I’m still not sure about Ken because he’s white in WF and Asian in BS) to operate as civilians to solve some shit right under the noses of the general populace of New Gamorra.
So, as Batman is looking around underground and in secret rooms and shit, Karen is allowing herself to be led around by her feelings of puppy love for this dude who they pretty much know to be the villain, and who’s double she only knew for the span of a couple of hours back on Earth 2 anyways!
As Karen is amazed at the appearance of her home planet, at the fact that the big rock is still floating there in space, Batman makes a supremely creepy discovery.
Finally, Karen’s brain kicks in as Ken starts to wax on about the miracles he’s been able to make since reading her genetics, etc.
Karen scoffs at his threats, saying that there’s no way that he would stop her. He, of course, isn’t concerned about that. Like every villain in plan one of evil plan revelation, he’s got his surprise ready to go.
Batman rushes to her aid, hopefully actually sporting that Kryptonite ring that he was vaguely threatening her with earlier.
Meanwhile, this might be the most ridiculous closing panel ever. While Karen and Bruce are WAY the fuck outmatched by dozens of beings who would individually at least give Karen a hard time to wrangle in, Clark and Helena’s big dilemma is… Illegal immigration.
So… I mean, they’re not in Arizona. Helena’s gonna punch this bro out and toss his unconscious body into a shrub while Clark gently chastises her and they continue to take photos, probably ending up with them either caught by a small cadre of armed guards and detained or uncovering yet another disturbing discovery. I mean, I’m guessing, but I’m sure it has to be getting weirder as the crossover continues.
Actually… It’s gotta be something about Earth 2.
It’s mentioned in the May solicits and everything that Earth 2 is still a thing.
So… Unfortunately, we actually do have to wait for the next chapter, now, but we’ve gotten a pretty solid start. This nano bot shit came out of nowhere, and it’s probably bad news that Clark has contracted robo-crabs from his parallel Earth cousin, since they can still probably read his whole life even while his own powers are being suppressed.
Hopefully this won’t just be “Karen’s Got A Problem, Now Clark’s Got a Problem, Now It’s Back Over To Karen, And So On!” But I will say that this issue and it’s preceding chapter in “Batman/Superman” are by far superiour to the usual stuff we’ve been seeing from “World’s Finest” on it’s own, at least for the past several months.
Let’s hope it gets even better.
Until next chapter!
Since both of these issues were released this week, and since they are a much anticipated crossover event, I’m going to review them both today. Look out for World’s Finest #20 in a couple of hours.
This is the first issue of Batman/Superman that I’ve picked up since it’s New 52 relaunch. The writing so far is pretty damn good, and I’m kind of in love with the artwork. Plus the dynamic between Superman and Batman is kind of fun in an odd-couple kind of way. Given the distrustful nature of the New 52 in general, and the relative newness of these characters and their relationships in this universe, I can definitely appreciate this. Plus the writing for Helena and Karen is fucking spot on for two twenty-something besties.
On to the comic.
We pick up with Huntress trapped in the Batcave by Batman. He surmises that she’s only about seventeen (<–WHAT?!) and is surprised because she moves like a Robin, which I guess is a thing. She tells him her story, that she’s his daughter from an alternate universe.
She tells him that everything was groovy until Darksaid appeared and rent shit asunder. She tells him that she’s certain that everyone has died.
Batman being Batman, he’s not particularly willing to believe her story right away, but then some cosmic type shit happens and he’s hit with an image of himself facing alternate versions of himself.
Not able to deal with feeling feelings, he does the only logical thing outside of eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and/or downing a fifth of scotch.
I imagine that daddy Bruce must have won a lot of teenaged arguments and gotten her to stick to a pretty regular bedtime that way.
He starts to look through his system and tries to make sense of her story in the context of his world and his experience, and she soon joins him because, let’s face it, she’s probably built up a hell of an immunity to all kinds of sedatives based on my assumptions of Batman’s parenting skills, particularly combined with Catwoman’s certain efforts to playfully undermine him at every turn.
She shows him surveillance and satellite footage of Power Girl and they aim to intercept her as her powers continue to go wonky. She asks if they’re going to call in Superman, since he and Batman are the World’s Finest drinking buddies.
He says that Superman is too reckless and that they shouldn’t tell him Jack shit. Huntress isn’t so fond of the mentality.
Karen overhears their whole conversation, even mid overpowered rampage and offers her friend some sage advice.
So, usually giving advice gleaned from movies isn’t the best idea, but it’s a totally legitimate genre to quote when your whole life is within the pages of a comic book. Either way, though, Helena’s not listening and Karen’s going ladyballs out crazy.
And just as disaster strikes and all seems lost, entre Superman to save a little brown boy and his dog from being turned to ashes… But not to provide food or shelter or water or medicine or to help provide any kind of economic support, of course. I mean, Batman could totally make that shit happen, but that’d make for a totally different comic and a for some reason less compelling hero.
But I digress.
Batman starts telling Superman what he needs to do and Helena gives Karen some directions as well, and both fucking Kryptonians flat out fucking ignore their Bat-Family counterparts.
The disaster averted, the crew sits Karen down and tries to figure out what to do next. Superman takes the lead here and once again dismisses Batman since he is, after all, a little bit of a douchebag.
After quoting Aladdin, he whisks her away to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, where there is an inexplicable outcropping of rock for them to sit on, and he urges her to relax. She lets out a massive ejection of energy and says that it felt like a huge sneeze or a really good cry.
While the Super-People explore their emotions, the Bat-People get their shit done. Huntress and Batman are able to nail down a place and a dude from which the stuff that’s causing PG’s meltdown is coming.
They head to this Asian country to infiltrate a fancy shindig being conveniently held at that exact moment and in the home and apparent lair of the evil Asian es-boyfriend. Enter Bruce Wayne, jet-setting billionaire playboy.
She causes a scene and slips away when their host tends to Bruce’s lightly dinged ego. She hacks into their computers and uncovers… Something. Basically, shit isn’t going to end well Karen the way that things are going. Superman overhears them.
They see that Karen is, apparently, going to detonate! Batman urges Superman to get away from her, that he shouldn’t be in her proximity when she blows. But he’s not about to let her go through this by herself because he’s Superman, and he’s actually acting like it in a New 52 book for once!
The Bat-People are helpless to watch as Superman once again dismisses their orders, and Karen is at risk of ‘sploding.
And this is how the issue ends! The both of them going kaflooey. A potentially TERRIBLE occurrence. What will our heroes do?! How will they get out of this one?!
Well… Just pick up the next issue, World’s Finest #20, since it also came out this week.
SPOILER ALERT: They’re fine. Solicits continue on through May, guys. Even if they die… This is comics.
Check back this evening for our review of World’s Finest #20 and the second chapter in the crossover event!